NBA Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal ignited a Twitter firestorm this week when he launched what can only be described as the Kazaam of animation contests.
Shaq, it seems, needs content for a new show called Shaq Life. But rather than hire employees to do the work, he decided to farm it out to volunteers who stand to receive a ridiculously paltry $500 in prize money if their “Shaqtoons” get featured on Shaq Life.
Are you an animator or artist? Visit https://t.co/UnY2lbSeBB to download one of my stories and use it as the inspiration for an original cartoon that YOU draw to life. If selected, you’ll be awarded $500 and your animation will be shown on my new show, Shaq Life. Good luck! pic.twitter.com/l4wo6CBNSp
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) August 28, 2019
Apparently, those strategies did not include paying the people who work for you a living wage.
Twitter Slams Shaq for Trying to Rob Artists
Anyone who nicknames himself “The Big Aristotle” should at least have the common sense to understand that the most patronizing thing you can do to an artist is ask them to work for “exposure” (read: free).
You cannot feed your family with exposure, let alone buy the expensive equipment necessary to produce Shaq Life-worthy animations.
Twitter was quick to call him out:
So you expect people to do all the work for you for free? All for a chance of extremely little money? What an absolutely horrible contest.
– Signed, a former animator
— Dragoneer.exe (@Dragoneer) August 29, 2019
Shaq, I’m a fan, and I know you probably don’t understand animation costs, so here’s a website to help you. $500 is insulting. https://t.co/dlpE3Z01Ni
— Lawrence Becker (@SamplerTimes) August 28, 2019
But wait, there’s more!
But like any sleazy contest, the deal gets even worse when you read the fine print.
If you thought winners got a raw deal, just wait until you hear what’s in store for the losers:
That’s right, on top of missing out on the oh-so-fantastic $500 grand prize, Shaqtoon rejects also surrender the rights of their submission to TNT.
This is such a disappointment coming from Shaq, one of the sports world’s most beloved personalities who went viral not too long ago for being an extremely generous tipper.
But why dole out $4,000 to your waiter when you can hire eight animators instead!
— • (@erklddm) August 29, 2019
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